Body Washed Ashore ID'd as Richmond Girl

Someone watching TV last night helped authorities identify a body that washed ashore this weekend.

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Oct 25, 2012  |  Updated 6:50 PM PDT
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Coastal Mystery: Teen's Body Washes Ashore

The body of a young woman between the age of 12 to16 washed up at San Gregorio State Beach in San Mateo County on Sunday. And five days later, investigators have no clue as to her identity. She was found wearing black boots and a Timex watch.
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The body of a young woman who washed ashore over the weekend along the San Mateo County coast was identified on Thursday as a missing teenager from Richmond.

The San Mateo County Coroner's Office said on Thursday that dental records showed that the body belonged to 16-year-old Cathy Qiu.

Qiu was a senior at Albany High School, according to the school.

Her identification comes four days after her body was discovered by a couple walking along San Gregorio State Beach south of Half Moon Bay.

The coroner credits a fellow Albany student for helping to solve the mystery.

The student contacted an Albany school administrator after she saw a report about the body on TV Wednesday night, according to the coroner.

The administrator contacted authorities.

There are still many unanswered questions, most important: How did she wind up dead, washed up on shore?

"The circumstances behind Qiu being found in San Mateo County are not known and the cause of death is pending investigation, awaiting toxicology results," the coroner's news release stated.

Richmond police told NBC Bay Area that Qiu had been reported missing on more than one occasion.

The school said she was reported missing Sept. 27.

The school said she was a member of the tennis team and had a 4.25 grade point average.

Administrators said they will inform students of her death on Friday and they will have counselors available.

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